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Welcome mat for emitters must be removed

20 February 2007

Welcome mat for greenhouse gas emitters must be removed

New Zealand risks becoming a dumping ground for big greenhouse gas emitting multi-nationals looking to keep their own backyards tidy if it allows the construction of a giant cement factory in the South Island, the Green Party says.

"If the planned new Holcim plant at Weston is allowed to proceed it will set a dangerous precedent for other companies wanting to follow suit," Green MP Metiria Turei says.

"New Zealand already produces more than enough cement to meet local demand, so there is clearly no need for any additional capacity. It is obvious that the majority of the cement produced at the plant will be exported.

This company will belch out an estimated 800,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and New Zealanders will be left to foot the bill, while to profits go into the pockets of the Swiss owners of the company," Mrs Turei says.
"In addition to the huge CO2 emissions from cement production, our environment will also be subjected to mercury, dioxins and sulphur dioxide from this process, not to mention that a small country school and Oamaru township are downwind from the proposed plant.

"It is clear that the Resource Management Act must be amended to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are also considered in applications, otherwise we could find ourselves flooded with large greenhouse gas emitters seeking to escape tighter regulations in their own countries," she says.

ENDS

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